An adventurous ride through the most blisteringly hot regions of science, history, and culture. Melting glaciers, warming oceans, droughts-it's clear that today's world is getting hotter. But while we know the agony of a sunburn or the comfort of our winter heaters, do we really understand heat?
A bestselling scientist and nature writer who goes to any extreme to uncover the answers, Bill Streever sets off to find out what heat really means. Let him be your guide and you'll firewalk across hot coals and sweat it out in Death Valley, experience intense fever and fire, learn about the invention of matches and the chemistry of cooking, drink crude oil, and explore thermonuclear weapons and the hottest moment of all time-the big bang.
Written in Streever's signature spare and refreshing prose, HEAT is an adventurous personal narrative that leaves readers with a new vision of an everyday experience-how heat works, its history, and its relationship to daily life.
Streever s follow-up to his 2010 New York Times bestseller, Heat, follows a structure as he explores any place hot or anything that creates heat, like Death Valley, forest fires, coal, oil, nuclear bombs, cooking, and volcanoes. There is stream of consciousness in Streever s style: a chapter that starts with a walk in the desert can contain tangents about 18th-century scientist Lavoisier, heat stroke, nuclear test sites, fevers, firewalking, hyponatremia, and the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. But it s delivered in funny, matter-of-fact prose, as when describing his ineptitude at starting a fire ( If the world were populated by people like me, we would still be living in trees and eating fruit. Climate change would not be an issue ). In this worthy companion to Cold, Streever is able to mix the pop science, personal experiences, and historic asides into a fun and informative commentary on a subject that few people think about despite its inherent life and death implications. 12 b&w illus.